Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy 75th Birthday Virna Lisi

Italian actress Virna Pieralisi was born on November 8, 1936 in Jesi, Ancona, Marche, Italy. She is the sister of actress Esperia Pieralisi. She was discovered by singer, actor Giacomo Rondinella [1923- ]. Her first film appearances were in "La corda d’acciaio" and "E Napoliccanta" (both in 1953) but it wasn’t until 1956 and her appearance in "La donna del giorno" in 1956 that she was actually taken seriously as an actress. In the 1960s she appeared in several comedy films and television series and commercials. She turned down a role in "From Russia With Love" opposite Sean Connery and went to Hollywood where they were trying to find an heir to Marilyn Monroe. Virna appeared in "How to Kill Your Wife" (1965) with Jack Lemmon. She turned down the lead role in "Barbarella" which eventually was taken by Jane Fonda. Lisi did not want to pigeon-holed in ‘dizzy blonde’ roles and returned to Italy where she became a house wife and mother to her husband Franco Pesci a manufacturer and her son Corrado. She returned to films in the 1970s with appearances in two Euro-westerns "White Fang" (1973) and "Challenge to White Fang" (1975) as Sister Evangelina opposite Franco Nero. at the end of the ‘70s in "Al di là del bene e del male" she found critical acclaim which opened a world of more challenging roles and awards. In 2009 she received the David di Donatello Lifetime Achievement Award. Today we celebrate the still beautiful Virna Lisi’s 75th birthday.

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